Death or Glory! C33 Laurel In the garage

Laurel Update

So Since taking ownership of the Laurel, what’s been happening?

Well, I wanted to get it to a drift day ASAP, I’m not one for hanging around but at the same time there were a few things that needed adressing before I could take it out on track.

Following the coilpack issues with the Skyline I decided to treat the RB in the Laurel to some new coil packs in the form of Yellow Jackets coilpacks. The installation was extremely simple, just unbolt the old ones and bolt in these, I also replaced the spark plugs for good measure.

While I was working in the engine bay I decided to do a little bit of tidying up starting with addressing the tatty looking rocker covers, they looked like they’d had something spill on them removing most of the paint at some point in the past, so while the engine is apart why not!

I had some spray paint knocking around in the shed so after a good clean and scuff I hit them with a few coats of high temp paint, followed by some fancy sparkle flake stuff I had knocking around and finally a few coats of clear lacquer before replacing the gaskets with new and re-fitting them.

Once the rocker covers had been refitted I realised that the cam cover now looked scruffier than ever, so that was the next thing to get the tidy up treatment.

Then it was time to do a bit of simplifying, as when we initially fitted a catch can there were a bunch of pipes that needed plugging, one of these pipes no longer went anywhere and so could be removed, it was weleded to another pipe that’s still needed so I broke out the angle grinder and got choppy! Sadly I forgot to take photos of this bit!

Since we first got the car it had had an aftermarket grounding kit fitted to it, this thing looked messy but at the time we didn’t want to touch it, it was working ant thats all that mattered. Sadly as time went on we found that were coming up against other problems that could be caused by bad grounding.

After a bunch of fixes that worked temporarily I decided it was time to remove the grounding kit (which by the way had two out of five of the ground wires going back to the negative terminal on the battery!) and try to find the source of the issue.

It didn’t take long, while I was working on the hot side of the engine I found the remains of a factory ground strap going from the top of the manifold to the chassis it had snapped near the manifold, I jumped online and bought a replacement and that sorted it.

It made sense while I was working in that area to finally delete the charcoal cannister too, doing this seems to be common on most drift and performance Jap cars and its a surprisingly easy job to do.

Now that the engine was back together, it was time to turn my attention to the interior. At the last drift day the gauges for oil temp, water temp and oil pressure stopped working, I was initially hoping that that sorting the grounding issues on the car would fix this too but it didn’t! Thankfully this was another issue where it didn’t take long to find the root cause.

The power for these gauges was taken from the switched power on the cigarette lighter, and the fuse for the lighter had blown so replacing the fuse fixed the gauges too. At some point I will find a better location to get switched power for these gauges but for now at least until after I’ve been to the track I’ll leave things as they are.

I also tried to get the stereo working again but sadly this wasn’t happening, I’m not sure why it isn’t working as its getting power so must be a grounding issue but all my attempts to ground it were a failure. Thankfully having music isn’t a must for a drift day.

After a bit of tidying up it was time to fit the new seats, I’d had these sitting around since they had first been released, I was originally going to fit them to the Skyline but when I decided to let that go I just HAD to keep them for the Laurel instead. I’m talking of course about my Shirts Tucked In (https://store.shirtstuckedin.com/) bucket seats.

I don’t think I need to talk about how I fitted the seats as most have fitted a bucket seat at some point. I was surprised, however at just how much these brightened up the interior! Coupled with my Yashio Factory harness bought from Otaku Garage they look amazing!! I really need to get a second one of these harnesses at some point for the passenger side!

So now the car is ready to take to the track, it doesn’t have a body kit yet, so to some its going to look a bit like a missile car but thats only temporary! The main thing is I start getting to grips with driving this thing hard!

Events & on track

BDC RD3 masterclass, or redemption?

Day 1.

When I wrote the last blog about round 1 I was also very excited at the thought of seeing the championship land in Sunderland for round 3 but there was a catch.

As the date crept in closer a worry set in, no venue was announced would the event get cancelled? Then as if they could read my mind the post came up….. BDC would now be held at Teesside for round 3. I love Teesside for drifting and in my eyes it is the home of British drifting so although it’s further away I couldn’t complain.

DSC_0067

I now had a chance to see if there was progress in the future for BDC. I would see how much had changed since round 1.

DSC_0362

Where do I start, well I guess from the start, sadly I didn’t make it to the practiced day but I was up bright and early on Saturday for pro Am. when I arrived it was clear someone had been reading the last post the trade section was full of life and well actually, it was full in general. It had a variety of stalls including Driftnuts/Project touge, Walton motorsport (which felt like a real shop this time), Ratrap and BDC merch. That wasn’t all the trade area had many cars on display which filled the voids and made it feel like it flowed well. The music from the RC track and the live stream playing at Walton motorsport stall made the area seem more alive.

DSC_0348

So overall the improvement hadn’t been drastic but it was a big step in the right direction.

Right down to the action

It’s no secret I was hoping to see Ian Rutherford do well and I was in for a treat but before that we had the pleasure of seeing some drivers put it all on the line.

DSC_0269

The day wasn’t without its victims Jolene was one of the first to fall from grace after putting in excellent runs during practice and fighting gearbox issues it seemed she was going to be a worthy contender but it all went downhill with a bang on Southbank as her diff give up the go (insert hello darkness my old friend song).

William Hanna was soon to follow retiring for unknown reasons it was a real shame to not see these drivers in battle.

DSC_0955

Another return for this round was team battles. As a spectator this was a nice addition, hopefully in time more teams will take part. Sadly although the team runs were fun to watch they held a heavy price for Nerijus Voliukevicius seeing his skyline burst into flames at the end of the run. Thankfully the fire was put out fast but meant he wouldn’t make it to his battle with Maciek Blazejewski.DSC_0892

Throughout the day the new comer Maciek ran a nice high line round southbank which helped see off the competition and put him in contention for his first podium. Veterans of the sport would not make the fight easy as Ian Rutherford and karl Farrar also landed into in the battle for a podium.

The day ended seeing new comer Maciek land in a well deserved 3rd, Ian 2nd and karl 1st. It was fantastic to see Ian end the day on the podium as a regular at Teesside.

Day 2.

DSC_0082

After an impressive day 1 it seemed the bar had well and truly been stepped up. Practice went well and was rather uneventful seeing most drivers take a safe approach. The weather had been fantastic up until qualifying then it all went wrong…………….

The track turned into a pool and most people ran for cover in the driftnuts tent.DSC_0860

Thankfully the rain was short lived and action was back underway after using the drift cars to dry the track.

DSC_0404

As the drifting got back underway we had the pleasure of seeing drivers of days gone including Sweeps the founder of BDC, the king of style Alex Law and fast and furious Scotty. Although there weren’t many returning faces it defiantly gave BDC the feeling that a void had been filled. Hopefully the team at BDC will continue to invite drivers back.

DSC_0582

The real heroes of drifting.

The staff at BDC had kindly gave me pit access for this event so as qualifying wrapped up I headed to the pits to see what was happening. Something that is overlooked by many is the people that keep the cars on track and I wanted to catch a small look into the hard work of the teams.

DSC_0275

As teams ran to each others aid many cars sat in what appeared to be a state of disrepair.DSC_0334

Sadly no matter how good the team were some cars sadly did not manage to make it back out but in amazing fashion some seemed to perform miracles bringing the monsters back from the dead.

Time for war

Onto battles it went sadly the low origin got bumped out in qualifying but the battles had some heavy hitters paired up early on. Sadly one of my favourites Martin Wonnacott got knocked out prematurely after a tough battle and destroying the rear of he car on the final wall …. again, poor car

DSC_0050

I think it is fair to say something had happened since round 1 the level of driving had really hit another level, at the start of the year I thought it would be a walk in the park for Aurimas but many driver had really brought the fight

DSC_0480

The man on a mission was Ricky Lawrence fighting off many big names and eventually battling it out in the final to see off Aurimas for first place.

DSC_0594

Redemption?

Well many companies ask their customers what they need to change and they clearly don’t listen was BDC the same?

As amazing as it seems the staff at BDC really had stepped up and cover absolutely everything mentioned in the previous blog.

Everything from the trade area, old school drivers and even the commentators had all been stepped up.

If the BDC keeps up this standard and still builds on it there will be a promising future.

Driver spotlight

DSC_0094

How can you not love this car really? With a real JDM feel and a nice reminder of Ken Nomura’s D1GP car Lee Barker has been around for a few years and is a big fan favourite and I must admit having a death or glory sticker on his car defo makes me love it more.

Sadly Lee was knocked out earlier on in the day but with a consistent driving style and the confidence to run the wall he is a driver to watch in the future.

Go follow his drifting https://www.facebook.com/leebarkerdrifting/

Big thanks to the BDC for the pit pass and see you all at another event keep up the good work

Words and pictures by Craig (Project Thirteen)

Thanks for reading

In the garage

Terri’s Blog 2 : Compensating Much?

Terri Blog 2

Compensating much Shorty?

 

While loading up and towing Lily to Anglesay last year I noticed that the arse end of Terri was sagging a little.  She was not over loaded and the trailer and Lily are well under the towing capacity of Terri.  The decision was made to look into new suspension and refresh a few parts on the old girl to get her tip top and ready for another year supporting Lily and I at drift events all over the country.  Terri is the first proper 4×4 I have owned other than my classic Impreza, but that’s a story for another day.  So where to start?  What do I need? What make? What spec? What Quality? And where do I get it from?   All the questions.  After reading a handful of websites, things were no clearer.  One website simply listed my truck as an option, then asked you to fill in a form and they’d send you a quote??  Where other sites said they had the kit in stock, 1-2 days delivery and then in small print explains the kit comes from Germany and takes 2 weeks to arrive!   A friend recommended an Australian company called Pedders which he had used when kitting out his 4×4 while based out in Cyprus. With no one else being very helpful, I wasn’t holding out much hope but I emailed the info email on the Pedders website.  It couldn’t off been more than 15minutes later I get an email back from a gentleman called Phil asking for some more information about my truck, (age, spec, model, etc) but Phil also asked what I used the truck for and what I wanted from the suspension.   So I explained I was a drifter and used the truck mostly for towing and carrying wheels, spare parts and tools, but we also use the truck for road trips and weekends away with my girlfriend and our dog. He asked me to give him 1 hour to check his stock.  Sure enough, true to his word within the hour Phil had found a Pedders suspension kit trailered to my needs.  There was only one issue. Phil had everything in the UK other than the correct springs, which would need to come over from the main HQ…  in Australia.   Shipping would take up 2 weeks. I placed the order with him and 10 days later the kit was on my door step!  No shit!  I haven’t had service that professional and eager to please in a long time.  Phil you are a legend, thank you Sir.

 

The Pedders kit is a full suspension kit so its came with

2x front gas sport Ryder shocks

2x Trekryder torsion bars

2x rear Trekryder shocks

2x rear raised 4×4 heavy duty springs.

The kit bolts straight on and is a direct replacement of the OEM stuff.  Absolutely no modifications were needed.  The kit will give my truck an approximately 2 inches of lift. It also comes with heavier rated rear springs to deal with the added load weight in the cab as well as a trailer on the hitch.   How does Terri drive now? The difference is night and day. Without using the word sporty (because she’s still a big 2 ton truck) but she feels solid and planted on the road.  I was concerned about raising her and making her feel top heavy and “wobbly” but with the Pedders kit it’s the opposite she now feels a lot more stable in the corners. The only issue with the lift is, I now need to stand on a couple of books to climb into her haha.   For the Terrano owners out there, I measured from the bottom of my 15” Wheel (not the bottom of the tyre the wheel itself) to the beginning of the arch trim.  On a standard Terrano the measurements should be roughly (depending on age and wear of bushes etc, etc) 26” at the front and 28” at the rear.  Terri, with the Pedders kits fitted, measures 28” at the front and 30” at the rear.   It should be a bit higher at the back if the truck is empty.

Yes I bought something I didn’t need to modify before fitting!  New record! Well we can’t have that, so I decided to fit 15×8” ET0 modular steel wheels wrapped in 31×10.5” BF Goodrich KO2 all terrain tyres.  These of course hit the standard front mud guards and arch lining on full lock, so a handsaw, a hammer and pair of snips later, half the mud guard is gone and no more rubbing issues.

Oh and in case anyone was wondering, I did get an email back from the original UK based company about their suspension kit… 17 days after the I sent the email! By which time Phil had hand selected the correct kit for me, had a conversation about drift cars (always a winner!) and got my kit to my door, from Australia, a full week ahead of a UK company answering my original email!  I’m not usually one for advertising plugs but honestly, if you want great service and good quality products sold by people who are truly passionate about their product and know their stuff – Pedders are the way to go.
www.pedders.co.uk or info@pedders.co.uk

Also fitted what can only be described as a second sun to the front of my roof rack.  A 42” LED light bar that lights up literally everything at the flick of a switch.

 

In the garage

Custom rocker cover change and wiring tuck on the…

After the last drift day I noticed a very strong smell of burning oil, panic set in. thankfully the panic was very short lived as I found the oil leak from the rocker cover half-moons. This was a very annoying find as I have replaced these several times but the high temps in the bay seem to make them go hard. After some digging on eBay I came across some alloy inserts to eliminate the issue for good.

20190207_112657

As the rocker cover was going to have to come off I thought I may as well do a different design as the ghost flower pink cover was getting a bit tatty. As a massive fan of MCR factory in japan I wanted to try to for a candy affect. Just to clear it up I am NOT a professional painter by any means I just do it for fun and a challenge. After some Instagram skimming I came across a very cool affect where you polish patterns into the alloy and then paint the candy straight to the surface.

20190204_100244

I polished a flame style pattern and then took to the booth to have a go at candy, well candy with pearl and metal flake ohhh and a pink to purple fade. Why do I never start easy……..

20190205_162422

My unusual blend of paint was mixed and spraying was well underway. Something I should warn anyone wanting to do it themselves is that the candy additive makes the paint very thin and prone to run so don’t rush (like I did).

20190206_082932

The end result was amazing and i was so happy i couldn’t wait to fit it.

When I installed the covers I very quickly noticed that the breathers and wiring covered most of the covers so the battle to hide stuff started. I moved the harness for the intake and injectors down as low as I could and rewrapped them, moved the plugs back so they would tuck down behind the engine and started from scratch with the breathers. Before you know it the whole thing was looking a lot cleaner.

20190207_152542

This had given me the bug and something that had been on my mind for a while was next on my list the passenger side front inner arch wiring. It was routed stupidly and was covered in unused plugs. The wiring was stripped back and extra plugs remover then I moved some of the components and routes the wiring along the chassis leg out of sight.

It was time consuming but well worth the effort I will be trying to tuck more wiring in the future and going for a more organised engine bay.

Thanks for reading

Craig

Follow my instagram @project_sthirteen and @deathorgloryco

For updated on the projects

20190207_092102

In the garage

My Skyline, the story so far … (part eleven)

So after a while of drifting the Skyline with its new look, using and abusing the car on a daily basis (about 18 months), the fibreglass parts had gone through various breakages and fixes, and the paint was starting to look really scruffy. It was time to start thinking about a new look. I could of course go out and buy a new full BN kit, fit it, and paint it purple again, but I wanted to try something a bit different. There were also a number of things that I did the first time around that I wanted to make sure I fixed and did better this time.

So I started looking at options the first thing I wanted was to go back to using metal wings on the front, I did love the look of the fibreglass wings, however they turned out to be not as strong as I first thought they would be, and on several occasions the tyre had caught them and eaten a huge chunk out of them meaning they needed repairing. This could have been down to wheel fitment issues or it could have been down to how the wings were made, who knows? I was foolish enough to give my metal wings away when I took them off so now I had to hunt down some more. After some searching on Facebook and Ebay, I finally found some for sale and arranged to pick them up.

Next I wanted to look at options for new rear over fenders, after some searching I realised that (at the time of looking) I was severely limited on options, as many companies over seas will not ship fibreglass parts since they can sometimes get damaged, so I decided just to cut the destroyed bits off for the time being.

Next was the side skirts, I would have liked some Type M skirts but they’re rarer than rocking horse poop, and the ones that are available either need too much work to make them useable again, or have been hit hard with the scene tax bat! So I decided to go down the aftermarket route again, I really liked the Vertex side skirts, however, it soon became clear that nobody had any for sale and many places that did previously sell them were not stocking them anymore.

In fact it seemed that the only aftermarket skirts you could find in the UK at this point were BN. Thankfully there was a glimmer of hope for something a little bit different, I had emailed EPR about some Vertex side skirts and when they replied they as expected did not have any were not getting anymore in stock, but they did have one pair of DMAX side skirts left in stock. So after some discussion I agreed to buy them.

But what about the front and rear bumpers? You can find out about those and more that happened next, here.

In the garage

Lily’s Blog 4: No strippers but plenty of flashing.

“Needs must when the Devil shits in your kettle”

Basically everyone heard about the crash at the Matsuri.  I have been totally blown away by the level of support, encouragement and offers of help I have had from everyone.  It has totally cemented the reasons why I absolutely love the drift community.  I mean even Matt Denham drove alongside us in the middle of a contraflow on the dual carriageway on the way home to ask if we were ok and to tell us he looks forward to seeing the car back out on track next year.

So probably better explain my evil plan now. Muhahaha!

I’m fully committing to latest vision I have for Lily.  I did have 2 other Lexus IS200’s and a wee Mazda MX5 I was building as a practise cars/ toys.  All of them have been sold to make space, time and money for Lily.

It’s a full strip down and rebuild. In a nutshell we are going full commitment. Tubing framing front and rear, Rear mounted Radiator, full BDC Spec roll cage, standalone ECU and budget allowing fuel cell and inline pumps.

We will be doing the majority of the work in house.  So this will be my first attempt at tubing framing, fabrication, plumbing, building, etc.  I will out sourcing for the Cage.  Alan from Millermods in Tillicoultry  (I’ll put the link below) has offered his expert skills to make lily something special and you can’t put a value on safety so thought it best to get a professional to do this part.

I started at the front of the car with some chassis reinforcement because the OEM A pillar braces were damaged. Low car big lock problems. I have always wanted to make a removable tube frame front end.  So having never made a tube frame for a car before, I bought a tube bender and went for it.

The tube I used is 22mm outside diameter with a 3mm wall thickness.  I picked this bar because Driftland SDC drift series spec won’t allow anything thicker than 25mm but they have now changed the rules so I could have used something thicker now but I have bought all the materials now so fuck it.

I haven’t finished the framework yet as I’m waiting on the body kit arriving so I can line up lights, bonnet, bumper, etc before finalising it.

In the garage

My Skyline, the story so far … (part eight)

So now that I had three drift days under my belt whats next? Well this is where things start to go a bit mental!

Ever since I bought the car, the one thing I didn’t like was the rust around the rear arches. There were two options to deal with this as far as I could see:

  1. Have all the rust cut out, and replaced with fresh metal professionally, then have most of the rear end resprayed.
  2. Have the rear arches tubbed, getting rid of the rust and then install fibrelgass overfenders.

The first option would cost the most and since I was now drifting the car it didn’t really make sense financially to fork out for all that work when I would potentially smash it up again at some point in the future.

The second option was less costly especially since I had/have a welder in the family, and would mean that I can change out the fibreglass overfenders whenever they were too far gone to be repaired again.

So I got my brother in law around and he set to work chopping out the rot around the arches, tubbing the rear arches for extra clearance and then he helped me install the overfenders I had bought from Kinzuru.

Next I decided to fit the Type 2 BN sports side skirts that I had also recently bought. They were pretty simple to install, I held them up to the side of the car with tape while I made sure the fit was correct and then drilled and riveted them on.

This was my first mistake, to anyone who fits side skirts, remember you need to be able to take them off from time to time especially if you, like me work on your car mostly on your driveway. If you don’t remove then you will only end up pulling and catching yourself on them until they inevitably start to break around the rivet… I really didn’t think that through!

I also had a set of rear spats from Kinzuru, and after fitting them, the rear end looked much more complete.

The next issue was the front, as now that I had the skirts fitted there was a step up between the stock front bumper and the skirts, making the lines of the car look a little weird. Thankfully I had bought a Type 1 BN (or at least this is what I was told) replica bumper from Kinzuru so now was the time to fit it!

Lees R32 skyline at Racewars In the garage

My Skyline, the story so far… (part six, The…

My second drift day occurred at a charity event run by a car club known as JPOC. The event was a barrel sprint arranged to help raise money for the Midlands air ambulance. Despite it being a barrel sprint they also allowed drifters to take part to either do the sprint or do some mad skids up and down the empty air field. Overall there were around 50-60 cars in attendance, most were only interested in straight line speed runs, but there were a good few that were there to drift.

The fact that the only obstacles were two barrels at the other end of the field was both a blessing and a little daunting. It meant that while I could go mad and practice initiations without fear of hitting something, it also meant that I would spend most of the day spinning around while trying to mimic the other drifters on the field.

It was tonnes of fun although to start with I was also a little nervy. The main reason being that cars were only going out one or two at a time when drifting which meant every time I set off, the entire field was watching me…. or at least thats what it felt like!

My first run was pretty much as you would expect I set off to one side of the airfield at speed, smashed the clutch, turned the wheel in and immediately went full 360! The only thing masking my immense grin was the amount of smoking emanating from my tyres! Even though I had essentially failed in what I intended to do I was still enjoying myself!

Throughout the day I continued to try and try to do what the other more competent drivers were doing in manjiing up and down the field. Which gave me lots of opportunity to practice initiations until I was confidently initiating in second gear, in some cases managing to hold some decent slides and even a couple of decent transitions between!

As the day progressed I had various people asking to jump in with me as well as lots of people giving me some helpful advice …it turns out my nerves were completely unfounded, although I’m pretty sure many of the straight liners were getting a bit annoyed at the idiot who couldn’t drift taking up time on the field.

In the garage

Ewan’s 1jz Lexus IS200

Lily the 1JZ LEXUS

Where to start…

I F**king Love this CAR…. AAAAHHHHHHH

So you join me 4 years into this obsession, I bought Lily for £800 and it was love at first drive.

I have been playing with cars all my life and no car has ever spoke to me so much made me feel so alive, so connected.  No object has ever opened so many doors, taught me so much, made me so many friends, become my life as much as this car has.  If I was to sit here to write down every reason I drift my Lexus I would end up writing one of those self-motivation books.

So I’ll spare you the boredom and keep this build thread focused.

6 months after buying her the diff started making a horrible grinding noise and being a “sport” model I feared the LSD was damaged.  So removed it to find out what was wrong.  It was an Open diff that had multiple teeth sitting at the bottom of it hahaha.   So the welder was kicked into life and I got a crash course in welding from youtube and I welded my first ever diff to get her back on the road for work the next day. “ I’ll buy a LSD at the end of the month when I get paid” I thought to myself.

That weekend a local venue was hosting a Jap car meet at their track which I attended.

I thought I have a welded diff I might as well do one skid just to try it before I buy the LSD Diff.

Yeah, that was 4 years and over £16,000 ago… and you guessed it, the LSD never got bought.  Haha!

I drifted her with the standard engine and minimal mods for the first year before I sold my MK4 NA Supra to fund my new habit.

2 years ago the JZ got fitted and much much more.

So Lily Spec list as of 2018 (she is currently off the road getting more done but will update you on that as and when progress is made.)

Thank you for reading and if anything doesn’t make sense drop me a message. I am dyslexic so reading and writing is not one of my strong points so bare with me.

Engine

1JZ-GTE vvti single turbo from a JZS 171 (Toyota Crown)

BOV Delete Panel + Bung

Uprated FMIC

Custom Stainless Steel FMIC piping wrapped in heat reflective gold tape

SFS Green Silicone Hosing

Walbro 255 LPH Fuel Pump

Custom Fuel Lines and Relocated Filter

NGK Spark Plugs

New Engine Plugs from Brands Hatch Performance

Ram Air Filter with custom piping to house MAF

Full Custom 3” stainless Steel Exhaust System

Custom Steering Pump Relocation Pipes and custom cooling panel

JapSpeed Alloy Radiator

3 Electronic Fans (2 on Rad 1 on FMIC)

Drive Train

Mk4 Supra W58 Gearbox

Competition Clutch 6 Puk Sprung Paddle Clutch

Competition Clutch Lightened and Balanced Flywheel

Lexus IS200 Automatic Welded Diff

Suspension + Handling

HSD Mono Coilover struts with Custom Springs

Full Minty Fresh Rega Rox Lock Kit

Eibach 25mm Hubcentric Spacers on the front

Driftworks Adjustable Caster Arms

Full KFD Rear Adjustable Arm kit

Strong Flex Racing Poly Bushes

Interior

Fixed Carbon Kevlar Bucket Seats

TRS 4 Point Racing Harnesses

OBP Hydro Handbrake and OBP Cylinder

Custom Centre Console

Custom Switch panel, Fuse box and Relay holder.

Cusco 6 point Bolt in Roll Cage

Stripped out interior

Hand Held Fire extinguisher

Exterior

C West Front Bumper

Custom “D-Max” Style vented bumper

Aero Catch bonnet Pins

Garage Ascura 45mm wider Full front Fenders

Lexus Sport side skirts.

Sunroof delete panel

Japspeed BGW with Custom extra low Bootlid Mounts

Minty Fresh Carbon Radiator Cooling Panel

Minty Fresh High Level Rear Spoiler

TRS Towing Straps Front and Rear

Custom Intercooler Support Bar

500 Bhp worth of Stickers

Wheels

XXR 527 (front Wheels) = 17×9 et30

Azev Type Bs (Chromes) = 17×10 et 25

Rota GTR (Skid Wheels) = 17×9.5 et35

Thanks to / Sponsors  

City Quay Car Services

Minty Fresh

Death or Glory Appeal

JM Imports

Events & on track

My Skyline, the story so far… (part four, my…

So now that I had the basics done on the car it was time to take it to the track and start getting some seat time. I knew being my first time I wasn’t going to be doing anything amazing and I certainly didn’t expect myself to be linking the big track at Santa Pod I just wanted to start getting a feeling for the car and just see how I got on throughout the day. Thankfully my good friend and long time drifter Joe came with me to lend a hand and give me some much needed advice.

I started out simply driving around a cone getting faster and faster until the backend started to step out, this was to get a feel for how the car felt once it started to break free on the back. After a few minutes of doing this in one of the play pens, I then moved on to making the car break traction but kicking the clutch. It took a while to start getting a feel for this as the first few times you do this your natural driving instinct kicks in making you want to let off the accelerator (as though you’re about to change gear.) then when I started to get a feel for this I moved on to trying to stop the car from simply spinning out by trying to control the skid. This took most of the morning but by lunch time I was able to control a skid around a cone in a donuty fashion.

After lunch it was time to try and push myself again and move on to trying to figure eight around two cones. Sadly and though I did enjoy every attempt at it immensely this took me most of the afternoon to get one figure eight linked. There were a couple of important things I learned from this day, besides the basics of how to skid a RWD car.

1. Never be too hard on yourself, even when you think you’re starting to get it, don’t get mad at yourself when you mess up as this only leads to more mistakes.

2. It always helps in those early stages having someone more experienced there to talk over how you’re doing and what you’re finding difficult, if I hadn’t had Joe there with me I don’t think I would have got any where near as far as I did. In fact I’m pretty sure I would have still been spinning round making a smokey mess if it wasn’t for him.

3. Just enjoy yourself, you will get it in the end everyone learns things at different speeds so just because you know one person who managed to link the big course after one day on track, doesn’t necessarily mean you will. Just go out and have a blast!

Sadly all photos and video for this day have been lost.

In the garage

My Skyline, the story so far… (part three)

In my last post I had just finished deleting the HICAS system, I had my first drift day looming and an ever mounting stack of parts in the garage so what was next on the list?

I wanted to make sure the car handled properly so I had bought myself a set of Daiyama adjustable coilovers from Japspeed, so I got to work fitting and setting them up. Installation was simple, after unbolting and removing the existing suspension I just slotted the new coilovers in, bolted them up and then got to work on setting the height, at this point I ran into a problem for some reason the front suspension would not go as low as the rear (and even that wasn’t particularly low!) So I ended up setting them to a more moderate ride height to even things out.

Photo 14-02-2015 13 10 20 (1)Photo 14-02-2015 13 10 13 (1)

When I asked Japspeed about this I was informed that I had bought one of the last sets and that are no longer dealing with Daiyama and so could/would not be able to do anything about this issue. Ah well… At least I had some better suspension to allow me to have better control over the car…

While I had the car up in the air I decided to make a start with the swapping out the hubs for ones with 5 studs, I had bought a set of R32 GTST front hubs from my friend Joe, and managed to find some for the rear online. However since this was my first drift day I decided to leave the rear as 4 stud for the time being so that I could make use of all 4 tyres and wheels that came with on the car when I bought it. Since I was changing the front hubs and after speaking with Joe we decided that upgrading the brakes from the stock GTS calipers and discs was a good idea, as the original 4 stud discs would not fit so I sourced a set of second hand R33 GTST 4 pot brakes for the front and some 2 pot brakes for the rear (again they would be upgraded as and when I decided to do the rear hubs). I also bought new pads and discs as one thing I will not skimp on is safety.

Photo 21-02-2015 15 19 52 (1)Photo 21-02-2015 15 19 40 (1)

Replacing the front hubs was a relatively straight forward affair, after removing the calipers and discs, it was as simple as unfastening a few bolts and then reversing the process to fit the 5 stud hubs. The brake upgrade was also a painless affair since I’d been given all the necessary hardware with the calipers it all went together with ease.

While the car was on stands I had also taken the diff out to have it welded up, so once that came back I threw that back in too.

now it was time to fit my new front wheels, as anyone who drifts knows its much easier to drift if you have spare wheels, and I did, the four stud wheels that were on the car when I bought it (plus a couple of spares I probably borrowed off Joe) but in order to free up the spares I had to buy something to run on the car in their place. I’d opted for a set of 16×8.75 XXR 527 wheels.

Photo 28-01-2015 11 53 45

I’d liked the look of these wheels for a while and I wasn’t in the market for spending an insane amount on some genuine wheels, especially if I was going to damage them at some point! Other than being lower and having new wheels the car was still looked stock, but these wheels gave it a whole new look!

Photo 18-04-2015 18 43 57 (1)

Finally as I had a Cobra bucket seat laying around from my previous car (the MR2 turbo) I threw it in the drivers side and also fitted a harness to keep me in place while going sideways, and I fitted a drift button to the hand brake so I couldn’t lock the hand brake on if I used it while drifting.

The car was now ready to hit the track!

In the garage

My Skyline, the story so far… (part two)

So now that I’m Skyline owner what’s next?

Well obviously the car wasn’t going to stay stock as I wanted to get into drifting, but as it was close to Christmas I did want to just drive it around in its stock form for a few weeks, just to see if any issues reared their heads.

However, before I could drive it around I needed to be able to listen to music in it. The stereo that came with the car while being retro, funky to look at, and truly JDM, was pretty useless, being Japanese it didn’t have the frequency range that we’re used to in the UK for the radio so at best I could pick up a local station occasionally. It did offer the option of playing cassettes of CD’s but as I had two Cassettes and all of my CD collection was in storage (the loft) that wasn’t something I wanted to do. So I went out and bought an Alpine Bluetooth head unit.

Photo 21-12-2014 12 05 49Photo 21-12-2014 13 57 47

The speakers also turned out to be on their way out, so I swapped them out for some new Alpine Type E speakers. Now I could drive around to my favourite tunes without the speakers farting at higher volumes.

photo-24-05-2015-12-27-41.jpg

For the first few days the car felt really nice to drive, however while driving up the Motorway to visit family over the Christmas period I notice that the backend felt a little unstable. This issue was caused by the HICAS rear wheel steering system, something I was planing on deleting anyway as I had read loads of stuff about it being useless on a drift car. I had looked at lockout bars for it, but for me this just seemed to be a sticking plaster solution. So after purchasing a HICAS delete kit from Driftworks. So I set about deleting the HICAS system once and for all with the help of my friend Joe.

photo-01-03-2015-09-28-29.jpg

This was relatively straight forward, we started from the back of the car by unbolting and removing the rear steering rack. Now that the steering rack was no more there were a bunch of pipes running from the HICAS solenoid valve in the engine bay, these also needed removing. It was a bit of a faff getting to it but we eventually managed to remove the solenoid and then removed all of the lines going to the back of the car as these were no longer required.

Photo 07-02-2015 12 49 33Photo 07-02-2015 12 49 29Photo 07-02-2015 12 49 12

Next in order to stop power steering fluid piddling every where we had to do something about the two lines that came from the power steering pump and the power steering reservoir to the solenoid, we decided it was easiest for the time being to just use a piece of silicone hose to join the two as the line to the reservoir was a return anyway.

Now comes the tricky bit, removing the ball joints to fit the new bushes, after various attempts with C clamps, fire and just hitting it really, really hard! I ended up buying a bush removal kit. It’s basically a huge heavy-duty C clamp with various adapters for pressing bushes out.

Photo 01-03-2015 09 20 14Photo 01-03-2015 09 40 03

This seemed to do the trick and before I knew it I had the new bushes supplied with the delete kit installed, all that was left now was to bolt up the brackets and then the arms, then finally get an alignment to make sure everything was pointing in the right direction.

Photo 01-03-2015 12 35 51 (1)Photo 01-03-2015 12 35 55

In the garage

My Skyline, the story so far… (part one)

At some point in time all of my previous blog posts about my Skyline project got lost, so sit back and let me tell you a story about my now beloved Skyline.

I purchased this car in early December of 2014, at the time I had a Rev 3 Toyota MR2 Turbo, and while I loved the car I didn’t really feel like it was something I could make my own and, it certainly wasn’t something I was going to be able to learn to drift in easily.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So after chatting with my better half, and also my friend Joe (also an R32 owner) the search was on for an R32 Skyline.

I had trawled all the usual places eBay, Gumtree, and Auto Trader, but there were very few in my price range. I started to search the Skyline Owners forums, and found quite a few for sale that were within my budget. I started messaging people to find out more about the cars but as is always the way I was either too late or some just didn’t bother replying to me (until several months after I had actually bought a car.) Then I got a message from Joe with a link to an eBay listing, the car was a Grey 2 door R32 GTS with an RB20DE engine for a very reasonable price. It was a fresh import and had only been in the country a couple of weeks, whats more it was local to me. So after chatting with the owner I arranged to go take a better look, and have a test drive.

I have to say that while I didn’t want to admit it in front of the owner (you should always play your cards close to your chest when buying a car!) I immediately fell in love with it. Aside from a small amount of rust on the rear arches and flakey clear coat on the bonnet, it was a very clean, unmolested example. So after agreeing a price I paid the man, sorted out the paperwork and headed home in my new ride. I was now a Skyline owner!

Photo 20-12-2014 13 37 26Photo 20-12-2014 13 37 38

Lees Land Rover Discovery II being loaded up In the garage

Why I bought a Discovery

In September 2017, I bought my first proper daily driver after several years of being part of the “daily driven drift car” crew. The daily in question was an E36 BMW 316i Compact, and for all intents and purposes was a great little car. I bought it cheap, and as a result it had a few issues. Overheating, being the main one, but I sorted it and carried on, then the day came for its first MOT while in my ownership. It failed on a couple of things but the main reason was the dreaded tin worm.

After investigating the rust I realised the car was too far gone to save, and so it was time to find myself a new daily, but the question was what should I get? I wanted something that was comfortable on long journeys, big enough to be able to get tools and spare wheels, and strong enough to be able to tow my car to and from the race track (once I had passed my towing license.)

I had set a realistic budget for myself, so now all I had to do was find the perfect daily…. Simple, right? At first I toyed with the idea of a transit van or some form of pickup, however after doing some research I had to rule both of these out, as most insurance companies class these as commercial vehicles and so would likely cost more to insure. Most large estate cars were out of the question as while they are comfortable and do have the large boot space, their towing capacity was barely enough to pull a large trailer, let alone a large trailer loaded with a drift car.

The variety was starting to narrow, I had considered something like a Japanese 4×4, however even these seemed to be fetching more than I could afford. Then, I had a thought, there was one vehicle I’d never event thought about but I’d always had a bit of a soft spot for, a Land Rover. I started to look and sure enough there were plenty out there that were well within my budget, however most of these had been heavily modified for off roading and after speaking to a friend of mine who had done a lot of off roading with his own Land Rover, he assured me that if its been modified for off roading, its going to be uncomfortable for long journeys, so I narrowed my search to ones that looked as close to stock as possible.

It didn’t take long before I found a relatively stock early 2000 Discovery 2 TD5 automatic in black for sale within a reasonable distance from where I live, and after viewing it, I decided it was the one for me!

Photo 28-07-2018, 11 02 37

I couldn’t be happier, it ticks every box of my wish list. It comfortably seats 5 people, it has a huge boot, and most of all it has a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes, so when I finally get my trailer license I will be able to tow my car to and from the track with ease.